If you are single and want to be smart with your money, you face different challenges and advantages than married people.
Last week I wrote a post about two things you should do before starting your debt free journey. Because I am married and this blog is called “Our Debt Free Family,” I focus my writing primarily toward married couples and young families.
But I have received some requests to write to the single person’s perspective.
It is important to me to show you that I listen to my readers and appreciate your comments and suggestions. So here is my advice for the single people who want to make smart money choices, get out of debt, and work toward true financial freedom.
1. Take ownership of your current situation.
If you have never been married, then your present financial situation is a result of choices that you alone have made.
If you have calculated your Net Worth and are pleased with the result, then be proud of where you stand and continue to make wise choices with your money to reach your financial goals.
But if you are in the red or your current financial state could use some improvement, then acknowledge the choices that you have made to get you here. Realize that nobody is perfect, and we all have made unwise decisions. At this point, accept the truth as it is, and resolve to make smarter choices going forward.
The good news is that while you alone are the reason your situation is what it is, you alone have the power to improve it.
You don’t need to confer with anyone before deciding to make a change. You can decide today — in this moment — to take control of your money and get out of debt. You get to decide what your financial goals and priorities are, and you will be able to change direction quicker than a married couple who would need to discuss and agree on their new path.
2. Find an accountability partner.
I touched on this briefly in the post about two things you should do before starting your debt free journey so I will expound here.
While you have the freedom to make life-changing decisions without needing to consult with anyone, you may need a little help down the road with sticking to your guns. This is normal.
Find someone you trust to hold you accountable to your goals. This person should have your best interests in mind, and it might be beneficial if he or she has similar goals. That way you can encourage each other to make progress on your goals and celebrate together when you reach specific milestones on your journey.
Your accountability partner should be willing to call you out when you are getting off track and remind you of your reasons for setting your goals in the first place. He or she will do so in a positive and supportive manner and cheer for you and your accomplishments.
3. Plan for the future.
While you are single right now, that may not always be the case. You may currently be in a relationship and can easily picture yourself getting married in the not-so-distant future. Or perhaps you have no desire to ever get married.
Either way, your situation (whether it be where you work, where you live, or what brings you joy) will likely change as time goes on, so you should set yourself up for a healthy financial future now. This will give you greater flexibility when opportunities come your way.
Some day you may want to plan a wedding, adopt a child, or go on an exotic vacation with friends. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you need to charge the added expenses on a credit card and pay an exorbitant amount in interest.
Instead, train yourself now to make wise financial choices. Set goals for yourself such as paying off your debt, building an emergency fund, saving for large purchases (i.e. a car, vacation, or down-payment on a house), and investing for retirement. Start living on a budget and you will be able to reach these goals more quickly.
Make a plan to set yourself up for a stress-free financial future without creditors and limited funds standing in the way of the freedom to live your life the way you want.
What About You?
Participate in the conversation. What would you add to the list? What is your best advice for single people who want to take control of their financial situation? Share in the comments below.